If you’re here then chances are you’ve got a toenail you’re worried about! Toenails are generally white in colour, but discolourations can happen. There are a number of reasons why you might get a black toenail, all of which we’re going to cover in this post.
Below, you’re going to find out all there is to know about black toenails and why you might have one. Remember, it’s important not to self-diagnose! If you’re worried, see a doctor.
A black toenail can be caused by various factors. More often than not, they can be impacted by a medical condition or some form of fall. Normally, black toenails will get better by themselves and don’t require medical treatment, but it will take around 6 to 9 months to completely grow out.
If you don’t know the cause of your black toenail then it’s important to visit your doctor, only then can you start the correct recovery path. However, there are a few reasons you might have a black toenail, these being…
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Fungal Infections on the nail bed – Fungal nail infections can be treated over-the-counter
- Melanoma (Form of Skin Cancer)
- Trauma – This includes a fall or injury of some kind and the blood vessels burst
If you’re already dealing with an ongoing medical condition such as Diabetes, it’s key that you tell a medical professional. They can help you recover properly and also detect any underlying problems you might be facing.
How To Aid Recovery
When caught early, a black toenail is super easy to treat. Most can be treated with over-the-counter medication such as creams, polishes and anti-fungal treatments. These can be bought at pharmacies and normal stores.
If your black toenail has been caused by an injury, then it’ll disappear after your toenail fully grows out in just over 5 months. It’s also key to remember that if your toenail still looks black when it’s growing out, then you’ll likely need treatment for an underlying problem.
To treat a black toenail, you can:
- Rest your foot
- Ice your toenail
- Compress your toenail
- Elevate your foot
- Take painkillers
- Seek a doctor’s help if you see signs of an infection
- Keep your toenail clean whilst it heals
- Keep it trimmed
- Wear well-fitting comfortable shoes
- Wear comfortable thick socks
- Wear protective toe caps whilst running or hiking
If you have suffered an injury, it’s important to make sure you’re resting your foot. Getting better and allowing yourself time to recover is the priority. If you’ve been given specified advice by your doctor, it’s also important to make sure you listen to them rather than following online advice.
How To Prevent
There are also ways to prevent getting a black toenail. You might want to try out these methods if you’re someone who suffers from a long-term medical condition like heart disease. All of these tips are non-invasive and won’t impact your medical condition.
To prevent a black toenail, you can:
- Keep your toenails clean and dry
- Wear closed-toe shoes when working
- Wear proper fitting shoes during exercise
- Wear sunscreen around your toes
- Continue with proper treatment and management of any health conditions
You can’t completely prevent a black toenail forever, no matter how many precautions you take, you might still get one. You can, however, take care of yourself and whatever health issues you might have.
Hopefully, all of these tips and tricks will help you either prevent or heal successfully from a black toenail if you ever get one. Remember to listen to your body and if you’re worried, seek medical advice.